British Sign Language (BSL)

british sign language bsl

British Sign Language is my favorite second signed language. BSL is the sign language used in the United Kingdom (UK). I get tingles every time I see their two-handed manual alphabet.

BSL is related to Australian Sign Language (Auslan) and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). These three signed languages descended from the same parent language and are part of the BANZSL language family and share the same manual alphabet.

Even though the United States and the United Kingdom both speak English predominantly, BSL and American Sign Language (ASL) are very different. As you may know by my comments, BSL uses two hands for their alphabet while ASL uses one.

BSL also has many dialects that vary region by region. For example, signs in Scotland may not be understood in southern England. Some signs are even different from city to city. An example of this would be the Manchester number signs.

I am honestly completely fascinated with the two-handed alphabet. After using a one-handed alphabet for so many years, learning the two-handed one is so much fun!

The BSL Alphabet

by soniahollis

If you want to learn some BSL, we recommend these resources:


Even though you’re having fun with BSL, don’t forget to learn ASL too!

1 reply
  1. Donna
    Donna says:

    I am British and this makes me smile, this was the first alphabet I learned in Sign Language. Seeing it again after a very long time I remembered it like riding a bike!! Now I am only focused on ASL !! However, when I get better and farther along I may also delve more into my British roots of BSL.

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